Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

We're back from our month-long travel vacation!  I have over 3000 photos, so I'll be blogging for a long time!  Before we left, we went to visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, a UNESCO Heritage Site near Chengdu.  It is an ancient system, built in 256 BC!  There was bad flooding every year, so the designer, Li Bing, created an artificial levee to reroute the water during floods so that they could still use the river for navigation.   After that, the people never had to worry about floods, so the people in Sichuan Province became known for their relaxed lifestyle and enjoyment of leisure!

Li Bing
This statute is the oldest known statue of a human in China.  It used to be in the river to measure the depth of the water--below his calves was a drought, above his shoulders was a flood!  The irrigation system is still used today, although it has been modernized.  It's amazing that they could engineer and build such a system all those centuries ago.  They didn't have dynamite to create the Baopingkou, or bottle-neck channel, so he employed a technique of freezing ice in the cracks between the rocks to break them apart.

Most mountains in China have a pagoda on top!

The Anlan Bridge, formerly one of The Five Ancient Bridges of China

Today's modern dam.

The "fish mouth" levee, dividing the river to upper and lower courses.

On the mountain overlooking the project is an ancient city wall and a couple of temples.  We went across the beautiful city bridge to see them.

Another example of the entrance being as grand as the thing itself.

I'm reading one of the ancient Chinese classics of literature called "Journey to the West" written by Wu Cheng'en.  These characters are Sun Wukong (The Monkey King) and his cohort, Zhu Bajie (the Pig).  They allowed me the privilege of paying to have my picture taken with them!

Here's a lunch stop--if you dare!!

Architecture in town

We hiked up to the Town God Temple and the Erwang Temple.  These temples always have very elaborate architecture and I take so many pictures.  They are beautiful and peaceful places, filled with the smell of incense.  And they always involve a climb to the top!

I really love the beautiful rock fountains and gardens in China.

There is always a pagoda tower on top of the highest point near the temples, and this was no exception.  The Qinyan Tower with its typical Chinese style is unique in that they have recently built an outdoor escalator to take tourists up to it.  We were amazed!

This series of roofs covers the escalator.

We found a spot for dinner at an outdoor restaurant on the river with a view.  Another lovely day spent enjoying the wonders of China!

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